As the House voted to impeach him, President Trump gleefully taunted Democrats Wednesday night in a wild rally before thousands of supporters who lined up in the bitter Michigan cold to see him create one of the more stunning split-screen moments of his presidency.
Back in Washington, House Democrats adopted two articles of impeachment related to his pressure campaign on Ukraine to launch political investigations. Simultaneously, at his “Merry Christmas” rally in Battle Creek, Mich., Trump sounded an almost-victorious note as he essentially argued that Democrats would rue the day.
“By the way, it doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached,” Trump opened his nearly two-hour speech. “The country is doing better than ever before. We’ve done nothing wrong.”
“The do-nothing Democrats, and they are do nothing, are declaring their deep hatred and disdain for [the] American voter” with the impeachment process, Trump said. He called impeachment “political suicide.”
“Have you seen my poll numbers in the last four weeks?” Trump added. “They’ve been trying to impeach me since before I ran.”
A staffer interrupted the speech to inform Trump of the outcome of the impeachment vote, which was 229 in favor and 198 against the article to impeach Trump for obstruction of Congress, and a 230-197 vote to impeach him for abuse of power.
Trump pointed out that not one Republican voted in favor of impeachment but three Democrats voted against it. “The Republicans have never been so affronted but they’ve never been so united as they are right now,” he said.
“I’m the first person to ever get impeached and there’s no crime!” Trump said, adding that Democrats have “cheapened” the impeachment process.
Trump slammed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as a “pathological liar” for the dramatized version of his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump also mocked Schiff for his looks.
“With Me Too, I never even think about looks anymore, OK? I don’t talk about looks of a male or female,” Trump said. “I’ll say, just one last time, Schiff is not exactly the best-looking guy.”
“Didn’t he have eight quid pro quos?” Trump said of Schiff’s version of his phone call that was read out on the House floor. “You say it eight times, they have you arrested they put you into an insane asylum.”
“Democrats do not believe you have the right to select your own president,” Trump told the crowd.
Trump said Democrats should not be allowed to hold an impeachment after the Russia investigation. “Think of what they did, think of how dishonest it was — they shouldn’t even be allowed to hold an impeachment,” he said.
“Comey, he’s another beauty, did I not do a great job when I fired his a–?” Trump said. He said “Trump haters” cost taxpayers “billions and billions” of dollars in what didn’t get done during the Mueller investigation.
Trump said that Michigan has had the “best year it’s ever had” due to auto companies “expanding, thriving, coming in from Japan.”
“I said, ‘Why are you allowing them to steal your car companies? Why are you allowing them to come in from China?'” Trump recounted from a previous speech in front of Michigan lawmakers.
Trump touted the USMCA trade deal, which is expected to pass the House on Thursday as a replacement to NAFTA. “We had tremendous trade barriers with Canada, a tax on dairy products… nobody talked about it,” he said.
Trump blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif., for the deal’s delay, saying: “The deal has been sitting with Nancy Pelosi for a long time. She had a lot of pressure from manufacturing farm areas.”
“The Democrats try to take credit for this deal and that’s okay, whatever it takes,” Trump added.
Two protesters held a sign in the stands that read “Don the Con you’re fired;” they received echoing boos and “USA” chants throughout the arena.